The best duffel bags available today make packing a breeze when heading away for short trips. For men, particularly, a duffel bag is an essential travel accessory that comes in handy a lot more than you’d expect.
The great thing about the very best duffel bags is that they can act as an extension to your outfit, much more so than cabin luggage. They can be made from a range of materials, including suede, leather, nylon and even recycled polyesters.
In this duffel bag guide…
Why do I need a duffel bag?
The main benefit of duffel bags, however, is their practicality. All your essentials are much easier to grab with open-top zippered access, such as passports, keys, phones… whatever you need to enjoy your recreational time or business trips! The handles also make them incredibly easy to carry, particularly when navigating busy airports and hotels in the centre of town.
What to look for in a duffel bag?
One key consideration when you make a purchase is the size of the duffel. Duffel bags come in all sorts of sizes, and the size you choose will likely be determined by how long you intend to travel.
Think about what you take away with you regularly that will take up a fair bit of space. If you’re going to travel somewhere cold, you’re going to need a solid selection of sweaters, hoodies and jeans. These items can be bulky and will take up a fair amount of space, so a larger duffel bag is needed.
You will also need to factor in other travel essentials such as toiletries. Can you go without your face wash for a weekend? Will you be ok using the body wash provided by your hotel? If not, then you’ll need to factor in space for a toiletry bag.
Lastly, you think to think about footwear. Again, if it’s a weekend city break, a pair of sneakers and perhaps some Chelsea boots will do. If it’s an outdoor adventure you’re going on, then you may need to pack some hiking boots or walking shoes.
If you know you’re going to need a fair amount of clothing but aren’t sure if it will all fit in your duffel bag, then you should look into owning a set of packing cubes that will not only help organise your bag but, more often than not, will allow you to fit in more stuff than you thought possible.
A good duffel bag really is a must for the modern gent, whether you’re heading away on travel to interstate meetings or a stag weekend in Amsterdam. Below are the best men’s duffel bags that will elevate your luggage game, and may earn you that upgrade to first class.
As we mentioned at the beginning, duffel bags can come in a range of materials and the one you choose will influence where it will be used best used. Leather and suede duffel bags, for example, won’t really like to get too dirty or beaten up – although, if your duffel bag is made from genuine leather, a few beatings will help it to patina naturally, giving it a unique look.
If you’re more into outdoor pursuits, then a duffel bag made from a durable nylon material will serve you best. Many manufacturers use ripstop nylon, which not only helps to prevent any tears from occurring but will most likely be waterproof too, ensuring everything you have stored inside will remain dry if the weather turns sour.
Men’s Duffel Bags FAQ
For a weekend trip, small duffel bags with 40 litres capacity is good and compact enough to be carried. With longer trips, you may want a medium-sized duffel bag with a capacity of about 70 litres. Yes, absolutely duffel bags can be put onto an aeroplane as checked luggage in the cargo hold. You may want to invest in some padlocks to make sure it's extra safe, however. Your duffel bag can potentially be taken onboard the aircraft as a carry-on too, as long as the size of your duffel bag is within the airline's requirements for carry-on luggage. Generally, this means it should be no larger than 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches. Most brands make a travel duffel bag that'll specify it meets carry-on size requirements. Duffel bags tend to get thrown around a lot in airports, so make sure you purchase something that will last. Canvas and leather may look stylish, but they are susceptible to scuffing unless they are coated or treated to be scuff-resistant, so keep an eye out for that if you really want a canvas or leather bag. Another great option is nylon as it's durable but still lightweight.
What is a good size duffel bag?
Are duffel bags allowed as checked luggage?
What is the best material for duffel bags?
For a weekend trip, small duffel bags with 40 litres capacity is good and compact enough to be carried. With longer trips, you may want a medium-sized duffel bag with a capacity of about 70 litres.
Yes, absolutely duffel bags can be put onto an aeroplane as checked luggage in the cargo hold. You may want to invest in some padlocks to make sure it's extra safe, however.
Your duffel bag can potentially be taken onboard the aircraft as a carry-on too, as long as the size of your duffel bag is within the airline's requirements for carry-on luggage. Generally, this means it should be no larger than 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches. Most brands make a travel duffel bag that'll specify it meets carry-on size requirements.
Duffel bags tend to get thrown around a lot in airports, so make sure you purchase something that will last. Canvas and leather may look stylish, but they are susceptible to scuffing unless they are coated or treated to be scuff-resistant, so keep an eye out for that if you really want a canvas or leather bag. Another great option is nylon as it's durable but still lightweight.
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Best Duffel Bags For Men
So, now you should have a clearer understanding of what type of duffel bag you’re looking for, it’s now time to take you through a list of the very best brands producing the very finest examples.
Db was created to provide premium luggage specifically designed to carry sports gear. After a whirlwind of success, they expanded to all types of bags, which includes duffel bags. Available in a few different styles and sizes, Db’s sleek men’s duffel bags are all made with durable coated nylon, and are spacious with multiple compartments for ultimate organisation.
Kodiak Leather Co.
These beautiful rustic looking duffel bags by Kodiak Leather Co. are designed to last; seriously. Kodiak pride themselves on creating “heirloom quality leather pieces that you can pass on to your children”. Their range of duffel bags includes high-quality canvas and leather weekender offerings, all of which are spacious and elegantly designed.
For a smart-casual looking duffel bag that takes organisation to the next level, you need a Bellroy. Their Weekender Bag is made from a water-resistant fabric, comes in two sizes, and features a padded 13-inch laptop sleeve, internal pop pockets for shoes, and a spacious zip front pocket for headphones, toiletries, and travel documents. And, while that may sound similar to some other duffel bags on paper, Bellroy is an absolute master when it comes to intuitive organisation. You’ll wonder how you ever did without one.
While Rogue Industries doesn’t have a huge selection of weekend or duffel bags, the old saying “quality over quantity” certainly applies here.
Rogue Industries have a canvas and a leather duffel bag, both of which are spacious, stylishly designed, and well-made. The canvas duffel bag is waxed for water resistance, while the leather duffel bag is crafted from full-grain leather for durability. Better still, they’re incredibly well-priced when you consider the quality.
Briggs & Riley
If you’re after a larger duffel bag, particularly for longer business trips, Briggs & Riley is the best brand for you. Their range of men’s duffel bags are on the larger side, so are better suited for those who regularly take long trips. They’re incredibly minimal in their design, are practical and are super versatile. Their Suiter Duffle Bag, for example, doubles as a hanging garment bag; perfect for when you need to take a suit with you on a trip.
ZERO Halliburton’s core values are resilience, reliability, and cutting-edge design, and their range of men’s duffel bags embody these values perfectly. All of the company’s duffel bags really are some of the best around, a;; featuring the same sleek, modern design, and being crafted with water-resistant nylon tricot and polyester twill, for durability.
All of ZERO Halliburton’s duffel bags are roomy, extremely functional and are guaranteed to impress.
Renowned for creative aesthetics, British designer Paul Smith combines tradition and modernity, and his men’s duffel bag collection is no exception. Paul’s duffel bags are guaranteed to turn heads with their playful and colourful designs that will elevate your style and help you to show off your personality. It’s fair to say these bag are on the smaller side, so don’t go expecting to fit an entire week’s worth of clothing into one, but for a quick weekend break, you can’t get much better.
All of Paravel’s duffel bags are made from their signature Ecocraft Canvas (which is made from recycled water bottles), are coated in silicone for durability and stain resistance, and are finished with eco-certified leather handles and trim.
Every single one of the company’s duffel bags is roomy, stylish, and can be personalised with your initials. Available in a variety of styles, sizes, and fun colours, a Paravel bag is stylish and practical, but will also make you feel good about yourself for buying an eco-friendly bag.
For a seriously durable duffel bag that you can take anywhere, and we mean anywhere, you can’t go wrong with YETI. Their range of duffel bags are some of the best to make use of water and abrasion-resistant materials, and some models are even puncture-resistant, perfect for more turbulent travelling such as whitewater rafting or deep-sea fishing.
YETI’s duffel bags are incredibly practical, since they feature divider panels and multiple compartments, and are sturdy for easy packing and unpacking. Available in bright and demure classic colours, these are the perfect duffel bags for men who love adventure.
If you like that vintage look at a cheaper price then Herschel have you covered. As well as their popular range of backpacks the Canadian brand also produces duffel bags, like this Supply Novel design.
At 42.5 litres it holds enough to keep you in clean pants for a long weekend and can even double up as a sports bag. It’s made from synthetic leather and has a handy compartment that keeps your dirty shoes separate from clothing.
Is there anything Everlane doesn’t make or do well? We’re struggling to think of any answer other than no. The American direct-to-consumer brand is a go-to for practically any need you might have, which includes duffel bags.
The Twill Weekender is made from a fully water-resistant cotton twill fabric for a healthy of dose of luxury and inside you’re presented with one expanse of space for all your clothes or items, along with an internal flap for the smaller things such as a passport or wallet.
If you’re someone who needs to transport a fair amount of camera equipment, but also wants to look good in the process, then check out WANDRD. The crowd-funded company has experienced soaring popularity since it launched, proving to make some of the best duffel bags for photographers, travellers and commuters alike.
The HEXAD Carryall Travel Duffle takes on a backpack design, with a padded back panel and sternum strap to help support heavier weights. It’s made from a range of weatherproof materials and can be had in either a 40-litre carry on size, or 60-litres if extra space is a necessity.
Specialists in everything waterproof, Rains are probably better known for their raincoats. But these Danish designers are astute in that they realise it’s not just our bodies we like to keep dry when on the move – and in response they’ve come up with this stylish Weekend Bag.
It’s made from blend of polyester and polyurethane fabrics that keep the rain off your travel essentials, and you also get a shoulder strap that can be easily attached if your hands get tired, and a zip closure with buttoned carry handles.
You can’t discuss overnight duffel bags without bringing up Troubadour. The brand may be relatively new to the market, but their duffels have certainly made a quick impression.
Take their Adventure weekend bag, for example, a very classy, versatile duffel bag that’s made from waterproof canvas fabrics. It features leather roll top handles and an internal laptop compartment, and looks amazing with both office and smart casual attire. A must for anyone who is serious about how they look.
The North Face
If you’re considering a longer adventure where the weather might become a factor, then North Face is more than a solid option. They always seem to get it just right, as they have with this Base Camp Duffle XXL, which holds an impressive 150 litres of your travel essentials.
It’s a highly durable option that is made from TPE fabrics and Ballistic Nylon. There are two main compartments equipped with compression straps and a handy waterproof ID pocket at the top. Add to that a D-Zip opening and a mesh storage bag and you’ll be set for any weekend expedition.
The Germans are renowned for their efficiency and modern, minimalist take on design. And you could say that this cultural ethos stems from one of their most celebrated names, Hugo Boss. The designers who now work under the name follow suit and create outstanding duffel bags such as this Italian Holdall.
It’s crafted from Italian leather and exhibits a straw-like embossed texture, for a little added luxury, while its boxy shape means that it feels compact but carries a decent volume, ideal for regular use.
Californian accessory specialists Miansai proudly make everything in-house. Every step of the process from concept to production is done by their small, dedicated team of artisans. As well as jewellery and necklaces, the brand also produces bags, like this exceptional Duval Duffle.
It’s made with genuine Italian cowhide and looks great with virtually any type of wardrobe combination for exceptional versatility. You also get the added benefit of interior and exterior pockets and brass finishings, resulting in a rather elegant duffel for all your travelling needs.
A good duffel can be a thing of beauty, a timeless creation that will be used forever when made by the right hands. Enter Bennett Winch, a relatively young British brand that’s ahead of its years, and one that designs amazing bags.
Their SC Holdall is a wonderfully designed suit carrier that oozes class and style. It’s handmade, using a mix of British dyed waterproof cotton canvas and twill, along with premium Italian leather. It features an external pocket for passports, key and wallets, with a fully removable shoe bag and a slimline coat hanger. The best business duffel bag? We think so.
It’s hard to achieve the ultimate style without thinking about price in the bag world, especially when it comes to a duffel bag. But, Away seems to have struck a perfect balance with this tidy Everywhere Bag.
It’s made from a mix of nylon and leather, much like a lot of the luxury options on the market, and holds up to 20 litres of your favourite garments and accessories. It also features a rather useful laptop pocket, a hidden exterior pocket and a zippered pouch perfect for a small umbrella. A really well-thought-out practical design that doesn’t sacrifice style.
Weekend away in your two-seater Porsche on the horizon? There’s quite literally no better bag to pop in the less-than-capacious front trunk than a Porsche Design duffel bag. Crafted from quality leather and sporting a large main compartment and a separate front pocket that’s also a decent size, you’ll easily be able to fit in a number of shirts, some shoes and all your grooming essentials.
Pushing themselves towards to the front of the line of producers of incredibly high-quality leather goods is Harber London. The British brand has only been in the game a few years but has made a serious impact since arriving on the leather goods scene. With a solid selection of wallets, tech cases and accessories under its belt, it’s no surprise Harber London also makes some damn fine bags.
They include this Leather Weekender bag, which will happily stow away in most aeroplane cabins. The handles are “mega comfortable” and you get a huge inner compartment for your clothes and seven pockets on the outside for smaller items. It’s handmade in Spain from full-grain vegetable tanned cowhide leather that simply exudes luxury.
As Montblanc specialises in luxury office items, it would be foolish of them not to have a few clever duffel bag designs for their client’s professional business needs.
This Sartorial Jet Duffle is just that, a light and elegant bag ideal for trips that require smart attire. It’s made with a combination of nylon fabric and Italian split calf-skin handles and trimmings, and sits firmly in the high-end price bracket.
Standing at the front of luxury travel bags since the 1950s, Italian brand Bric’s always produce exquisite designs that demand attention. This Cargo Duffle from their MyLife collection is the ideal bag for those spontaneous weekend trips away when a durable bag is required.
It’s made from a synthetic PVC exterior with a fine soft interior liner, while the trim is made from premium leather that ages with style. For added security, you also get a TSA-approved lock to keep your valuables safe.
If it can be made with leather then Smythson can turn it into something beautiful. The London brand is Britain’s most well-known leather maker and if you wanted the perfect example of what constitutes the best in duffel bag design, you wouldn’t be far off perfect with their Ludlow design.
It’s made from high-grade black grain leather, with smooth, calfskin handles that are rounded for added comfort. A piece that is made to stay soft and subtle over time, it’s a truly fantastic bag that will make you the envy of many!
WANT Les Essentiels
Founded in Montreal back in 2007, Want Les Essentiels produce a wide range of clothing and accessories for modern travellers and adventurers who like to look the business.
This Hartsfield may be more of a tote than a duffel bag, but is till a great little snapshot of what the brand is about, in that it is made from high-quality fabrics (nylon and leather) with a touch of refined minimalism. It features internal pouch pockets, a two-way zip fastening and can hold up to 37 litres of your most treasured items.
This fresh, young Sydney-based brand has arrived with a mission to create thoughtfully designed products that are timeless and ones that will endure years of use.
Hershan’s first product is the Utility Tote bag, available in small, medium and large sizes. The lack of closure on top makes it more suitable for weekend getaways in the car as opposed to checking into an aeroplane’s cargo hold, but being handcrafted in Portugal and being made from consciously sourced cotton, it will accompany you for years and years.
Made on mid-century looms that results in zero cutting waste add to its environmentally-friendly credentials. We also happen to think it looks damn fantastic, no matter which colour you choose.